Home security tips - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Home security tips

Info provided by MPD.

The burglary basics:

- Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.

- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.

- Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.

- Keep your garage door closed and locked.

- Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.

- Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.

- Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.

- Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.

- Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.

- Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.

Don't tempt a thief:

- Lawn mowers, snow blowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.

- Always lock your garden sheds and garages.

- Use curtains on garage and basement windows.

- Never leave notes on your door such as "Gone shopping."

- Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.

- When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.

Targeting the Outside:

- Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.

- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.

- Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.


- Most windows can be pinned for security.

- Drill a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame - place a nail in the hole to secure the window.


- An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.

- Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you.

- If Your Home Is Broken Into:

- If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:

- Do not enter - the perpetrator may still be inside.

- Use a neighbor's phone to call police.

- Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.

- Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.

- Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.

- Other precautions you should take:

- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places -- burglars know where to look for hidden keys.

- Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home -- this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.

- Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars. 

- Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9­1­1 immediately.

- Mark your valuables with your driver's license number with an engraver you can borrow from your precinct. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.

- Form a Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.

- Consider installing a burglar alarm system.

- The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!

- Remember the three L's of Crime Prevention: LIGHTS, LOCKS & the LAW!

- Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, and call the Law when you see something suspicious.

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